|Governor Releases 2012-13 Budget Plan|
|Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:33|
Governor Jerry Brown released a new budget plan last Thursday, after a technical glitch accidentally posted the budget earlier than expected. The 2012-13 budget plan attempts to solve a $9.2 billion problem, which includes a $4.1 billion deficit in the current fiscal year and a projected $5.1 billion shortfall during 2012-13.
The governor’s budget proposes a total of $10.3 billion in cuts and revenues to balance the budget and build a $1.1 billion reserve. Cuts to health and human services and education programs constitute most of the budget balancing cuts. The budget assumes that voters will approve the governor’s $7 billion ballot measure to temporarily raise the personal income tax on wealthy taxpayers and temporarily raise the sales tax by one-half percent. If the ballot measure fails, the budget includes $5.4 billion in additional cuts to education and public safety.
The budget plan proposes to suspend various mandates except for most mandates related to law enforcement or property taxes. Additionally, the budget seeks to repeal dozens of the approximately 50 mandates that have been suspended for the past two years or more, which would result in a $728.8 million savings to the General Fund in 2012-13. It is unclear at this time which mandates are included in this proposal.
Restructuring State Government
In a commitment to make state government smaller, more efficient and more focused on core activities, the budget proposes to eliminate and consolidate 48 state boards, commissions, programs and, departments and proposes a major reorganization of the remaining entities.
The budget references the governor’s October 12-point pension reform plan, which, the governor claims, when fully implemented will cut roughly in half the cost to taxpayers for providing pension benefits to state employees and will reduce the risk for future pension debts.
The governor’s budget recognizes that the elimination of redevelopment agencies, recently validated by the California Supreme Court, resulted in less General Fund savings in the current fiscal year but significant greater savings going forward, beginning in 2012-13.
A summary of the governor’s full budget proposal can be found here and details of the plan can be found here.
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